Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Color Inspiration

I haven't forgotten the wicker chairs or the front porch that we discussed here.  But, my color choice has changed based on a recent inspiration: 

This is the view out my patios doors every morning, my neighbors newly painted wall and salvia clevelandii (purple sage).  It takes my breath away everyday.

This is my neighbor on the other side and the view out my kitchen window and from the front porch.
 Unfortunately the lighting wasn't great for this photo but you can see that the door and window ledge are a coral color.  

And these are some other views from the front porch.

So, the cushions will be green and yellow with some coral for accents.  You really can't go wrong when Nature chooses your color palette.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Music

A favorite-Madeleine Peyroux:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just a place to lay my head.

When we were at Picacho last, I took a few photos of some of the rigs we saw camped there.  If you're familiar with camping, you know that part of the ritual is taking a walk around to check out all the other rigs along with the various camping paraphernalia people just can't leave home without.  We've picked up some really good ideas that we've incorporated and we've seen a lot of things that fall into the "What were they thinking?" category.

The photos below are some of my favorite set-ups.  Simplicity seems to be the theme.
Our humble abode

The Teardrop

Mercedes Sportsmobile

Vintage Airstream Caravelle

The Classic

Ed. to add:  If you want to see some fabulous camping vehicles and equipment, check out Ara's latest post at Oasis of my Soul.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Look what we did!

A group of quilters in my neighborhood put together this beautiful Cactus Blossom quilt which was raffled off to benefit the Civano Community School and Civano Aging in Community.  I'm proud to say my blocks are numbers 5 and 10.  Thanks to Joanna Norman of Forever Green Quilts
for heading the project and getting the quilt into wall-hanging condition. 


The raffle was the culmination of The 6th Annual Civano Art & Quilt show, which included a concert by Trails and Rails, a silent auction, used book sale, and plate lunches.  All in all, over $2700 was raised!  The event gets bettere every year and credit for the success goes to the hard work of Mare and Maureen, proprietors of the Inn at Civano and just all-around great community members.

More photos here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Music

Do you think life would be boring if we didn't strive to make ourselves better than we are today?

from  mnmlist
You can’t change your entire life.
You can only change your next action.
You can’t change a relationship with a loved one.
You can only change your next interaction.
You can’t change your entire job.
You can only change your next task.
You can’t change your body composition.
You can only change your next meal.
You can’t change your fitness level.
You can only start moving.
You can’t declutter your entire life.
You can only choose to get rid of one thing, right now.
You can’t eliminate your entire debt.
You can only make one payment, or buy one less unnecessary item.
You can’t change the past, or control the future.
You can only change what you’re doing right now.
You can’t change everything.
You can only change one, small thing.
And that’s all it takes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Passionate Affair with the Taxman

I have a secret and it's not something often discussed in mixed company.  Come closer so I can whisper in your ear:  I don't mind paying my taxes. 

Sometimes I am very passionate about professing my feelings about the Taxman, and if you want to see others get really passionate, just say, "I don't mind paying taxes" aloud. It's purple passion, baby!

I've been writing a confessional post in my mind for a few days but then I came upon this  Tax Day Message on Paul Levy's blog (whom I am also passionate about). James Tracy is now my new heartthrob.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Here's an interesing idea...

From Jacob at Early Retirement Extreme, Building an Intentional Early Retirement Community.

Would you move?

I saw this post at Tiny House Blog a couple of months ago.  Sounds interesting but you'd have to drive miles for everything.  Been there, done that.

Some neighbors of ours moved nearer to "downtown" Tucson about a year ago. They came to our recent block party and made us all jealous because they can walk to just about anything.  Now they're crabby if they have to cross the street to get to a restaurant.  They also did a smart thing by buying a small duplex, renovating and renting out one side.  The 2 of them are living in about 750 sq ft. (their house here was at least 3 times that).  

I could do this

If I were to move again...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Do Nothing Day

A day with nothing planned, isn't that a wonder!  Yesterday I attended a lactation conference in Phoenix with some long-time friends  and we had a great time.  That boring drive is so much better with friends.

What's new with breastfeeding you ask?  Nothing much new, you have a baby, milk perfect for that baby is magically produced, you feed the baby.  Done, done and done!  The benefits are consistently reaffirmed but there are those who continue to discount them. It's still the best way to feed a baby but it's a bit like tobacco.  It look a long time before people would accept that smoking or dipping were bad for you, and there are still those who would argue it today. What else is common to the two issues?  Strong lobbies and huge advertising budgets.   Artificial Breast Milk (ABM) is a world-wide mega-industry, with companies spending over 45 million in TV, print and radio advertising in 2004.  All that money to promote something that only a fraction of the population actually needs and the use of which has been shown to increase risk of Type 2 diabetes by 39%.  The world is truly a crazy place.  (And yes, I know that ABM is essential to some infants)

Tomorrow, I work.  Well, it's more like "enjoying a day with friends doing something I love and get paid for" but I'll call it work. Today is all mine and I have a $5 off card from Ace just burning a hole in my pocket.  Spray paint, here I come!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Music

Growing up in southern Ohio, coal was a part of life. In school we all learned the difference between anthracite and bituminous.  Our economy relied on coal as  the larger employers in the area, the steel mill, the railroad and the stove foundry, were based on coal.  The railroad carried the coal, the steel mill burned the coal, the foundry used both coal and pig iron, a product of the steel-making process. I can still today bring back the smell of the coke furnace and see yellow hot molten steel pouring from the huge ladle.

There is no coal mining in my home county, the coal fields lie just east and south. Oh, I think there were some small holes that people worked mostly for home use but nothing that went miles back into mountains or underground.  But when there was a mining disaster, because of the magic of television WSAZ and WCHS our network affiliates based in Charleston and Huntington, brought it right inside our living room.  As a kid, it was heart-wrenching to think your dad might go off to work and never come home. It was sad seeing the families gather together to wait, and wait, and wait.  And it still is today.



The nation's fleet of over 100 coal plants is responsible for 57 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S., more than any other single electricity fuel source.  Power Scorecard
When you use your electricity today, think about what it takes to get it to you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can't get enough of the wildflowers!

And with temps nearing the 90s, they won't be around for much longer. 

The only thing missing in these photos is the scent of acacia and jasmine...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

House Love

The idea of making "home" in small spaces has always held a fascination for me.  I do think it harkens back to my childhood obsession with my neighbor's play house. At 53, I still want to have a play house and to that end, I purchased these plans just the other day. I've been planning to build something small for over a year but with my mother's ill health and death it just hasn't happened.  Maybe I needed the long planning phase as I have gone from 120 sq ft stick frame to 120 sq ft cob and now 60 sq ft stick. This looks doable for a fist-time solo build. Now to start gathering all the recycled building materials I can find. There are several lots of houses going up within 5 minutes of mine, so that shouldn't be a problem.

Continuing with the small spaces, I am loving this house. I've mentioned The Canelo Project and the Steens here, here, and here.

And how about this small space?
This little TearDrop was built by a new friend.  Betty ordered the kit and put it together herself over a year.  She now misses having a project, so plans are in the works to build another. 

I love the sassy red and black coordinating accents.

She and I would have had that little play house whipped  into shape in no time!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Music

This time of year, I live in paradise and cannot wait to go outdoors.  Hope you can get outdoors today!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It all started with a chair-

or really 2 chairs.  And as with most systems, you add something or you take something away and the whole balance is thrown off.  And everything must change. 
I loved these chairs from first sight.  Friends had them at their "farm" and they were so worn and graceful and charming (The Chairs, not the friends.  Well, they are charming but not so worn).  These friends are nice enough to allow us to store the Airstream at the farm and one day as we arrived to do some work, I noticed that The Chairs had been relegated to the dump pile.  My eyes lit up, "Do you see The Chairs are in with the garbage?"  Rick immediately went into his defensive posture "I'm sure they just moved them over there while they were cleaning up the property.  They probably still want them."  Yeah right, Bucko!  A quick phone call, and The Chairs were mine!  Score!

But I need help on what to do with them.  Input requested. I was going to paint them both a deep lavender (which looks blue in the photos) and leave all the other chairs alone.  However, adding one more color is making the porch look disjointed.  Now I am leaning toward painting all the furniture the same color (chocolate brown or the lavender) to give it some cohesiveness and making new cushion covers for color.

So, whad'ya think?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Butter 'n Egg Money

When I was a kid Mom would sometimes buy eggs from Mr Woodrum.  I don't know much about Mr Woodrum, other than he drove an old pick-up, sold eggs and was friends with our neighbors across the road.  When we saw him pull-in to the neighbor's driveway, Mom would grab whatever change might be laying around and walk across to buy eggs.  As I recall, they were around .50/dozen.  As a kid I must admit, I really didn't see the difference between store-bought eggs and "chicken" eggs.  Well, let me take that back, as I could see the difference.  Mr. Woodrum's eggs were brown, sometimes a bit dirty and when you cracked one open the yolk was a deep golden color.  Yes, the visual difference was apparent, but my palate didn't appreciate the taste difference.

It's interesting that even back then we made a distinction between "chicken eggs" and those pristine, thin-shelled, white ovoids we purchased at the grocery which had lost all connection to a chicken.  Eggs had become just another mass-produced item on the shelves created by some unknown process, not unlike American cheese slices.

But now, I can appreciate the difference.  We buy eggs from a couple of young women in our neighborhood who are sisters, twin sisters (in keeping with the egg theme).  They have a few chickens and when the hens are laying we buy their eggs which they deliver to us on their bicycles.  The price today, $3.00/dz.  I'm happy to support their small business and thrilled to have "real" eggs!

The yolks are that deep, golden color I remember.  The shells are thick and take a forceful hit to crack them open.  And yes, they usually come with a bit of decoration, maybe some straw or grass and sometimes even a little chicken s#*$.
But you know they're chicken eggs.